A government programme to rehome Portugal’s homeless has already taken 300 rough-sleepers off the streets, and aims to accommodate a further 1,100 before the end of the year.
The ‘national strategy for the integration of the homeless’ (Estratégia Nacional para a Integração das Pessoas em Situação de Sem-Abrigo) for the time being covers 22 municipalities in which well over 7,000 people have been identified as living without a roof over their heads.
The first ‘protocols’ under the scheme were signed in November last year.
Beyond actually providing shared accommodation, the programme finances teams of professionals to ‘accompany’ the homeless through their journey of reintegration into society.
The next phase is aimed at the LGBT homeless community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), explain reports.
Before the pandemic, 7,100 people – mainly men between the ages of 40 and 55 – were identified as living rough in the streets of the metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto.
Various associations have since alerted to an increase in this number through 2020, says Jornal de Notícias.